INTERVIEW: A.J. Haynes of Seratones

seratonesSeratones are a garage, punk, revival. The band hailing from Shreveport, Louisiana offer a raw, unfiltered, and unapologetic stance on what rock n roll is for the future. Their continuous touring, and recent chainsaw buzz from their May record release, Get Gone, has critics and fans showing them much warranted love. B-Sides had a chance to catch up with the bands energetic, and high-spirited, lead singer and guitarist, A.J. Haynes via phone while on tour in El Paso. TX.

  • On forming the band from the Shreveport, Louisiana music scene…

AJ – “I met the guys in the band through a really insular punk scene in Shreveport, a very small tight-knit community. We would put on punk shows and multi-media art events that Adam the bass player and I would go to.  There isn’t a major infrastructure for the music industry, it’s a lot better now, but when we were coming up doing our thing it was DIY or die, which I love because there are no rules. We used to put together a new music event at an old water works museum so it was really experimental artistry and soundscapes it was really, really fun.”

“Connor and Jesse and I had a cover band and together for a while in college… which was great cause I was able to buy some books and get free booze. We got tired of playing other people’s songs and wanted to see what we could do on our own. Adam moved back from Oregon after leaving Shreveport just to play with us, so it’s been bottle it up and go ever since, we really haven’t stopped.”

  • On musical influences and the creative driving force of the band…

AJ – “At the end of the day we’re a rock n roll band, we do have all these different influences and a lot of people try to categorize us as “other”, but at the end of the day we are a “fucking” rock n’ roll band. There is something to that lineage that I’m really intrigued by, and I think that you take the best of what you know and love and you make something different out of it, and that’s what makes good artistry. We have a wide range and different spectrums of that range…. There’s a jazz spectrum that we all have different perspectives on, and a blues spectrum, and it varies from person to person. But this is a rock n roll band and we are going to see how far we can push that.”

“I love how utilitarian a rock n roll band is, when you think about it, you really have to push yourself to be better and make better sounds because you don’t have that many instruments, so it’s very base level, and that is something that I have always liked about rock n roll bands, and then you evolve from that.”

  • On the writing and recording process behind Get Gone, released in May, 2016, their first release from Fat Possum Records

AJ – “It is democratic, our production engineer stated it as “trying to catch lighting in a bottle” we do spend the time crafting the songs prior to, and the songs are based on anything… like a color, or a riff, or a lyric, a vague idea that pushes or compels itself into something different, but, you’re trying to capture a feeling. For all the grandeur of the Motown recordings, and for all of Marvin Gaye’s vocal talents, on some of his best recordings he is singing a little flat, but no one cares because his delivery is so spot on…. It sounds like he is having fun….”

  • On the energy of the fans when touring North America and Europe

AJ – “I definitely say think that the Europeans fans are very attentive, because we are a commodity from a different country and are a little more engaged. I remember when we played this one show in Europe and we were tuning between the songs, and there were hundreds of people watching us, and there was dead silence all around, but not being disrespectful, but just listening and that is a really cool feeling. I always walk into every audience with no expectations because you never know…. One of my favorite shows I ever played was in Hattiesburg, MS at Nick’s Ice House, where there wasn’t even a PA, we had to find and build a Frankenstein PA from someone’s cousins, brothers, uncles that might have a microphone, and the bar seats are made out of toilets, and that was one of my favorite shows, I just walk in and…rock n roll man.”

  • On keeping that raw energy while touring incessantly

AJ – “I take my vitamins, drink lots of water, drink lots of coffee. There are two ways that you can go about this whole thing, there is self-preservation or self-destruction, and I’m just way to vain for that. My vanity is going to be the thing that saves me. Look at artists like Iggy Pop, he has managed to do stay close to 70 and still rock it out, and how he talks about different ways of thinking about crap and he’s iconic. He’s got more charisma in his pinky than most people have in their entire body.”

  • On the one record that she can’t live without

AJ – “I think it would be the first record I ever got, it was given to me, it’s Otis Redding on one side with Jimi Hendrix on the other: Live at Monterrey Pop. I didn’t buy it; a friend was like “hey, you need this”. I also just really love live records. Between that and Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto record, that’s the first record I listen to when I get home after tour.”

  • On the musician she could perform with, dead or alive

AJ – “Thelonious Monk, he’s so cool, he would just make up notes, and the notes in between the notes. He was also a bit of a tyrant, which I’m OK with; just tell me what to play.”

  • On the first concert she ever went to

AJ – “I don’t know…. I went to church…. Some of that stuff is crazier that some of the shows I have seen. Church goes live… the heart and the pain man….”

  • On what’s next for Seratones…

AJ – “We’re still on tour, but we’ll definitely have some down time soon and see what kind of noise we can make.”

Seratones tour dates are below:

9/15 – Crescent Ballroom– Phoenix, AZ*
9/17 – Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV*
9/18 – Acerogami – Pomonsa, CA
9/19 – Casbah San Diego – San Diego, CA
9/20 – The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA*
9/21 – Fox Theater – Oakland – Oakland, CA*
9/23 – Roseland Theater – Portland, OR*
9/24 – Paramount Theatre – Seattle, WA*
9/25 – The Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC
9/27 – The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT*
9/28 – The Fillmore Auditorium – Denver, CO*
10/1 – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK*
10/5 – Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON
10/6 – The Beachland Ballroom and Tavern – Cleveland, OH
10/7 – The Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
10/8 – Turf Club – St. Paul, MN
10/9 – Colectivo Coffee – Milwaukee, WI
10/12 – Big Room Bar – Columbus, OH
10/13 – Club Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA
10/14 – MilkBoy – Philadelphia, PA
10/15 – Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
10/18 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
10/19 – Knitting Factory Brooklyn – Brooklyn, NY
10/20 – DC9 Nightclub – Washington, DC
10/21 – Cat’s Cradle Back Room – Carborro, NC
10/22 – The EARL – Atlanta, GA
10/25 – Club Downunder – Tallahassee, FL
10/27 – Proud Larry’s – Oxford, MS
10/28 – Voodoo Music + Arts Experience – New Orleans, LA
10/29 – Duling Hall – Jackson, MS

You may also like...

%d bloggers like this: